Poll: On a scale of 1 - 5, with 5 being dead sure, how certain are you that God doesn't exist?
1 - I don't know/care if there is a God or not.
2 - I'm not really sure if a God exists or not.
3 - I'm pretty sure there is no God, but don't quote me on that.
4 - I'm certain there is no God, but not 100% sure.
5 - There is no God. Period.
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A Poll on Views: Take 2
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22-05-2011, 11:09 PM
 
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(22-05-2011 07:58 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  
(22-05-2011 07:44 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Buddy.

Dawkins, not Darwin. Richard Dawkins.

Fixed.

...and no need to specify WHICH Dawkins. (Jimmy Dawkins?)
(22-05-2011 07:19 PM)Celestus87 Wrote:  
(20-05-2011 10:48 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  P.P.S. I doubt you'll find a single poster on here he is 100% certain that there is no God. That kind of arrogant certainty is only found in religious forums.

Raises hand in guilt... Dodgy


How? In that case the whole "prove to me that there is no God" fallacy that theists use actually applies to you. If you are asserting the belief that "a god does not exist" then you are held to the same standards as theists, and must provide proof for this claim or else be rejected by the same merit as "Elvis is still alive" claimers are rejected.

Hmm, under this rational, "pigs can't fly" should require scientific proof as well. But it would be ridiculous to pursue it. I have an existential agnostic philosophy in general but when it comes down to deities; I'm not agnostic, I'm damn sure. Big Grin
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22-05-2011, 11:28 PM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2011 12:01 AM by Efrx86.)
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(22-05-2011 08:21 PM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  He classifies deism as separate from both theism and atheism

He doesn't. He says on the god delusion that deism is watered-down theism, that deists only differ from theists in that their god doesn't intervene in human affairs.
(22-05-2011 06:43 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  The problem I have with the Dawkins scale and the use of the term "agnostic" is that... well... it's wrong.

noun use of adj. gnostikos "knowing, able to discern,"

The terms "gnostic and "agnostic" stem from a Greek word dealing with the "nature of knowledge."

Independently, it doesn't even refer to religious beliefs. You can be "agnostic" about whether the Holocaust really happened.

The only time Agnostic by itself specifically refers to religion, is if you are in fact A-Gnostic (Being without Gnosticism, which is a set of specific sects believing in religious beliefs emphasizing the spirit, duality, and enlightenment that dates back to pre-christian times). So I reject agnosticism as a stance of "not sure about theism" because it's inaccurate.

On TGD he elaborated on the concept of agnosticism, and he mentioned different kinds (agnosticism about the Permian extinction, about life on other planets, etc), and then went on to write about agnosticism regarding the existence of a god. Later on he wrote the scale we've seen in this topic.

Regarding the etymology of the word "agnostic": IMO on a discussion about religion and/or existence of a supreme being, it should be just fine to refer to agnosticism towards the existence supreme being as just "agnosticism". Yes, you can use the term "agnosticism" on a wide variety of topics like the Holocaust or life on other planets, but if we are, say, discussing about the existence of a supreme being, and the word "agnostic" pops up, given the context, it's obvious the word agnostic alone is being used to refer to "agnostic towards the existence of a supreme being". Seriously, why pick on the little details?

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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23-05-2011, 12:03 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2011 12:12 AM by Buddy Christ.)
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(22-05-2011 11:09 PM)Celestus87 Wrote:  Hmm, under this rational, "pigs can't fly" should require scientific proof as well. But it would be ridiculous to pursue it. I have an existential agnostic philosophy in general but when it comes down to deities; I'm not agnostic, I'm damn sure. Big Grin


..."pigs can't fly" DOES require scientific proof. It's just easily dismissed because at this point in our lives we know which types of things fly, and that wings are generally a requirement. But ask an infant whether or not pigs fly and he wont easily dismiss it. Because he hasn't learned the boundaries of gravity and the different ornithological categories yet. As adults, we already ran this statement through our physics filter a long time ago and haven't questioned it since, so it seems like a given, but it's just that the conditions of pigs and flying haven't changed, so we've had no reason to reconsider the concept.

All positively asserted claims require proof. Even if I say "I am 100% certain that invisible fairies aren't flying around my head" I would then be required to provide evidence for such certainty. Whereas the more pragmatic "based on the lack of evidence, I have no reason to BELIEVE there are invisible fairies above my head" statement requires no proof since you are asserting nothing but a rejection of a believe due to lack of evidence.

You could say that I'm arguing semantics or splitting hairs here, but I believe the subtle variations of the two statements "I believe there is no God" and "I don't believe there is a God" carry significant differences and burdens of proof.


(22-05-2011 11:28 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  given the context, it's obvious the word agnostic alone is being used to refer to "agnostic towards the existence of a supreme being". Seriously, why pick on the little details?


Because using the Atheist - Agnostic - Theist scale leads theists to believe that I (the Atheist) am stating "There is no God" which then leads them to the "well you don't know how it all started either" argument which then leads to a migraine.

There are hard and soft atheists, better denoted by the terms gnostic and agnostic, and I'm trying to separate myself from the gnostics, which I consider equally as unprovable as the theists I'm mocking.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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23-05-2011, 12:33 AM
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(23-05-2011 12:03 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  Because using the Atheist - Agnostic - Theist scale leads theists to believe that I (the Atheist) am stating "There is no God" which then leads them to the "well you don't know how it all started either" argument which then leads to a migraine.

There are hard and soft atheists, better denoted by the terms gnostic and agnostic, and I'm trying to separate myself from the gnostics, which I consider equally as unprovable as the theists I'm mocking.

I still disagree with the nitpicking of the word agnostic, but I do agree with you on one thing... theists hear "atheist" and immediately start spouting "Atheist? How would you know that God doesn't exist? You're taking a faith position!" Both the Dawkins scale and the belief-knowledge graph address that issue, but theists just don't give a shit.

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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23-05-2011, 12:49 AM
 
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(23-05-2011 12:03 AM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  You could say that I'm arguing semantics or splitting hairs here, but I believe the subtle variations of the two statements "I believe there is no God" and "I don't believe there is a God" carry significant differences and burdens of proof.

You should get the Nobel prize for successfully splitting quarks! Tongue

Joking put aside, I do understand your thoughts on the subject. However, I belong to the group of people that identify those thin lines as insignificant. The last time someone told me that I was looking at the half-empty glass rather than the half-full, that very same glass found his head and ruined his hairstyle. Dodgy

I could never find any deep philosophical properties in semantics as I deem them to be subjective. It all comes down to my personal preference in the choice of words, the environmental subjection to stimuli that I've been through and the emotional and cognitive derivatives of my experience, none of which are objective or generalizable at any degree. Undecided

For me, saying that "I know god does not exist" is the same as saying that "I believe that god does not exist" and that is the same to "I dunno if god exists but he probably does not". It all comes down to how much I wanna specify or generalize. We can find a ton of labels and tags to promote our finely-defined individual philosophies but in the end we are part of the same group; the pro-science one. Big Grin

By identifying myself in that big umbrella, I do not have to bother with giving my exact coordinates in the gnostic/agnostic axis.


PS. As I said earlier, this is only the case for religion and theism for me. In all the other aspects of my life, I choose the agnostic sub-umbrella.
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23-05-2011, 08:12 AM
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(22-05-2011 11:28 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  
(22-05-2011 08:21 PM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  He classifies deism as separate from both theism and atheism
He doesn't. He says on the god delusion that deism is watered-down theism, that deists only differ from theists in that their god doesn't intervene in human affairs.

"A theist believes in a supernatural intelligence who, in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to observe and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation...A Deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws of that govern the universe in the first place. The deist God never intervenes thereafter, and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs." - The God Delusion, page 39.

It seems pretty clear that he views deism and theism as two different things, theism having a personal god, deism not.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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23-05-2011, 10:39 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2011 10:58 AM by Efrx86.)
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(23-05-2011 08:12 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  
(22-05-2011 11:28 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  
(22-05-2011 08:21 PM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  He classifies deism as separate from both theism and atheism
He doesn't. He says on the god delusion that deism is watered-down theism, that deists only differ from theists in that their god doesn't intervene in human affairs.

"A theist believes in a supernatural intelligence who, in addition to his main work of creating the universe in the first place, is still around to observe and influence the subsequent fate of his initial creation...A Deist, too, believes in a supernatural intelligence, but one whose activities were confined to setting up the laws of that govern the universe in the first place. The deist God never intervenes thereafter, and certainly has no specific interest in human affairs." - The God Delusion, page 39.

It seems pretty clear that he views deism and theism as two different things, theism having a personal god, deism not.

If so, then why does he say on that exact same paragraph...

Quote:Deists differ from theists inthat their God does not answer prayers, is not interested in sins or confessions, does not read our thoughts and does not intervene with capricious miracles. Deists differ from pantheists in that the deist God is some kind of cosmic intelligence, rather than the pantheist's metaphoric or poetic synonym for the laws of the universe. Pantheism is sexed-up atheism. Deism is watered-down theism.

He makes the distinction between theism (personal god) and deism (non-personal god), but he notes the similarity between them by stating that the deist god is still an intelligent being. The gods of theists and the deist god are different when it comes to intervention in human affairs, but that deistic god is still a supernatural creator, and therefore its believers fit in the Dawkins scale and the belief-knowledge Cartesian graph.

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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23-05-2011, 10:53 AM
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
Please don't let Richard Dawkins define atheism. He's an evolutionary biologist, so anything he says about evolution should probably be considered. But anything about deities is open for debate.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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23-05-2011, 11:25 AM
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
(22-05-2011 06:43 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  The problem I have with the Dawkins scale and the use of the term "agnostic" is that... well... it's wrong.


noun use of adj. gnostikos "knowing, able to discern,"

The terms "gnostic and "agnostic" stem from a Greek word dealing with the "nature of knowledge."

Independently, it doesn't even refer to religious beliefs. You can be "agnostic" about whether the Holocaust really happened.


The only time Agnostic by itself specifically refers to religion, is if you are in fact A-Gnostic (Being without Gnosticism, which is a set of specific sects believing in religious beliefs emphasizing the spirit, duality, and enlightenment that dates back to pre-christian times). So I reject agnosticism as a stance of "not sure about theism" because it's inaccurate.


Edit: I'm not specifically trying to be a dick, I just think a communal agreement should be made on our accepted vernacular.

There is no "right" or "wrong" definition of a word. There is a generally-accepted consensus and that is all. Words are just symbols with meaning attached; they are completely arbitrary. It's like saying that there is only one "correct" definition of what makes a Christian, when in fact there are multiple definitions.

I agree that "communal agreement should be made on our accepted vernacular" but I disagree with the way that you are trying to go about it. Dogmatically adhering to a textbook definition of a word is not the way that language works. Language is like culture: it evolves and changes as the majority of the population uses words. Take the word "snob" for example. Does anybody here use this word to refer to a shoe cobbler? 'Cause that's what it originally meant. Same with the word "atheist"; it used to be used on anybody who did not believe in the denomination/deity of the majority of the population at any given time/place. Now it has narrowed to refer only to those who do not believe in a deity at all.

People generally understand what the current accepted definition of any given word is. The consensus on this forum is that agnosticism refers to knowledge and atheism refers to belief, but the way that people use these words betrays the fact that the general definition of "agnosticism" is not the textbook one. We have evidence that some people refer to themselves just as agnostics because they choose not to take a stance either way. Both inside and outside these forums I have met agnostics who define themselves this way and people who generally accept this definition. In everyday speech, we use the definitions that are useful to us regardless of whether they are etymologically correct or not. All that matters is that others understand which particular definition one is using when speaking to (an)other human being(s).

- Sorry for the rant, but I couldn't sit back and let this slide Tongue

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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24-05-2011, 08:50 PM
RE: A Poll on Views: Take 2
I think it is more likely that I'll find a leprechaun feeding his pet unicorn under my bed tonight than that anything I would call a god exists. Put me firmly in the 5th category.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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